Press release

Next step in finding new UK World Heritage sites announced today

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Expert panel to decide sites to be considered for World Heritage Status nomination announced by Tourism and Heritage Minister John Penrose

The independent panel of nine people, meeting for the first time today, will be chaired by Sue Davies, Chair of the United Kingdom National Commission for UNESCO’s Culture Committee. They will begin the process of forming a new tentative list based on the 38 nominations put forward earlier in the year.

John Penrose said:

“The variety and unique nature of the UK’s heritage is recognised around the world. But if we’re to succeed in getting more UK sites awarded World Heritage Status we have to make sure the strength of the nominations we put forward are second to none. I’m in no doubt that the expert panel chaired by Sue Davies will do a fantastic job in whittling down the list to ensure we have the very best chance of succeeding in front of UNESCO in the future.”

Once the Tentative List has been completed it will be submitted to UNESCO. Nominations from this list will then be put forward from 2012 for inclusion on the World Heritage List. It’s hoped a new UK Tentative List will be completed by Spring next year.

Notes to Editors

  1. The list of 38 places that have put themselves forward for consideration for the tentative list can be found on the DCMS website. 

  2. The Government has conducted a review of its UK World Heritage Policy. The aim was to help determine whether the UK should continue to nominate sites for World Heritage status and what more we should do for existing sites. The review considered the UK’s approach to World Heritage, the costs and benefits of World Heritage status, informed by research undertaken by Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PWC), on the management, protection and funding of sites, and the policy for future nominations.

  3. The Government proposes to submit a new Tentative List to UNESCO in 2011, with a view to re-commencing nominating from 2012. Following this, it proposes to continue to make nominations to the World Heritage List, though not necessarily every year.

  4. The full list of the nine panel members are:

  • Sue Davies: who will Chair the panel- and is Chief Executive of Wessex Archaeology Ltd and Chair of the United Kingdom National Commission for UNESCO’s Culture Committee.

  • Dr Peter Fowler: an academic writer and researcher in archaeological, agrarian history and heritage fields. He is an international consultant and is currently adviser to three international bids for World Heritage Status.

  • Dr Birgitta Ringbeck: is a member of the German Commission for UNESCO and Head of Section for the Protection and Care of Historical Monuments at the Ministry for Building and Transport in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany.

  • Susan Williamson: until 2009 was Head of International Policy at Historic Scotland, and currently represents the UK on the Council of Europe’s steering committee for heritage and landscape.

  • Dr Mike Pienkowski: is Honorary Executive Director of the UK Overseas Territories Conservation Forum, a member of the UK Executive Committee of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, and a member of the UK Man Biosphere Committee.

  • Christopher Pound: is an architect and town planner experienced in caring for historic places and has advised on the successful nomination of previous places to the World Heritage List.

  • Prof Mike Robinson: is Director of the Centre for Tourism and Cultural Change at Leeds Metropolitan University and is a member of the Culture Committee of the UK Commission for UNESCO.

  • Dr David Thackray: is currently the Head of Archaeology for the National Trust and has responsibility for the working group which manages the seven World Heritage Sites under the National Trust’s care

  • Paul Drury: is the founder of the Paul Drury Partnership consultancy on historic environment policy and practice. He is an archaeologist, architectural historian and a building surveyor, and former chair of the Council of Europe’s steering committee for cultural heritage.

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